Mailport: June 2012
USCG registration Fees
In the May 2012 article on boat loan financing, you quoted $530 as the approximate cost of U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) documentation. In 2007, when my boat partner and I documented our boat, we were also quoted $530 as the cost of documentation by our insurer. However, in spite of being a “formaphobe,” I found it quite easy to do it directly with the Coast Guard for $92, and it took less than an hour. The cost was $84 for the application and $8 per page for any additional pages. You can find it by Googling “NVDC” (National Vessel Documentation Center) or phoning 800/799-8362. I found both the website and all the USCG folks very helpful.
Chinook, Sabre 34 MK II
Thanks for the tip. Boat buyers whose insurer quotes more than $150 for attaining the documentation for them can look into doing it themselves via the website, www.uscg.mil. The base charge for an initial documentation certificate is $133; it costs $84 to get an exchange certificate.
However, when a boat is financed, most lenders require that an approved USCG documentation agent be engaged to handle the process to ensure accuracy and timeliness. According to Peggy Bodenreider, director of the National Marine Bankers Association, these lender-approved USCG documentation agents carry professional liability insurance and are members of the American Vessel Documentation Association (AVDA), which works closely with the NVDC on issues that could impact the process. As with any business, the USCG documentation agents provide their services for a fee.
Bodenreider explained, “The fee is not an inflated fee, but a charge for a service that assures the seller, buyer, and lender that all is in order with the title documents on a boat purchase.”
Check out the AVDA website for more information: www.americanvessel.com.
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